Bitwig Studio 2.2 Now Available, With Ableton Link, New Modulators & More

Bitwig has released Bitwig Studio 2.2, a major update to the cross-platform DAW that adds Ableton Link support, new modulators & more.

Here’s what’s new in Bitwig Studio 2.2:

  • ABLETON LINK – Bitwig Studio offers a number of ways to integrate with other technology: MIDI, MIDI Clock Master/Slave, MTC, CV & Gate and hardware audio clock; Ableton Link is the latest addition. Bitwig Studio 2.2 supports Ableton’s Link technology out of the box, allowing users to connect multiple instances of Bitwig Studio via network connection (Wi-Fi and Ethernet), and to a vast range of music software such as Ableton Live, Reason, NI Traktor, NI Maschine and Serato DJ, as well as a growing number of iOS and Android apps.
  • TIME SHIFT DEVICE – This device allows for fine-grained time adjustments anywhere in the device chain.
  • NEW MODULATORS – Bitwig Studio 2.2 comes with four new modulator devices:
    • POLYNOM: The Polynom allows you to feed modulation signals into a mathematical formula (y(x) = x?+x¹ +x²+x³) to achieve sophisticated and flexible transformations.
    • QUANTIZE: Reshape any modulation signal and give an edge to smooth curves with the Quantize modulator.
    • SAMPLE AND HOLD: The Sample and Hold modulator introduces chaos and breathes life into your modulation setup—randomized or ordered.
    • AUDIO RATE: Grab any audio signal in your project as a modulation source.
  • ON-SCREEN KEYBOARD PANEL – This input panel is now available on more display profiles. It’s a handy way to play notes directly on screen, using touch screen or mouse. It allows for multidimensional polyphonic expression (or MPE) input and doubles as a visualization of note playback.
  • DUAL DISPLAY (STUDIO/TOUCH) – Connect a touch screen to your existing setup and enjoy the best of both worlds: touch input optimization on one screen, and full feature view on the other.
  • SOUND CONTENT – Rare Organs and Keys includes samples of three rare, vintage organs – every note of every dry register sampled individually (drawbar) – and crafted into virtual instruments ready to be played. Enjoy the historic sounds of “Farfisa Syntorchestra,”, “Philicorda” and the very rare model “VOX Continental Baroque.” Bitwig also added the Bösendorfer grand piano to the update, professionally sampled in stereo, every key in up to three velocities, and crafted into a multisample instrument.

Price and Availability

Bitwig Studio 2.2 is available as a free update for all Bitwig Studio 2 license holders.

  • Bitwig Studio 2 MAP: 379 EUR / 399 USD
  • Upgrade from Bitwig Studio 1 to Bitwig Studio 2 MAP: 159 EUR / 169 USD

16 thoughts on “Bitwig Studio 2.2 Now Available, With Ableton Link, New Modulators & More

  1. charging for update already…

    where are the features that were announced during “release”? they has said after 1.0 – now its 2.2 and they never mentioned paying for pre-release announced features??

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  2. I think BitWig kind of missed a big opportunity to connect with their user base after switching to the subscription-but-not-really-subscription model. They knew they’d be dividing users with the move and I’m sure they knew it’d cost sales. Changing licensing on users was not a cool move, especially with such young software.

    They seem pretty quiet these days though. No roadmap, no public interface for proposing or voting on changes, no idea what they’re working on. “Machine gun updates” that haven’t materialized. And at a time I’d expect them to be trying to connect with their users for input and to keep them informed and happy. Where’s the agility they promised this would deliver? It seems like the model is now “put money in the black box and maybe something you need comes out, hopefully before your year is up”. I really like the idea of BitWig but there’s no way I’m supporting this business model.

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  3. “put money in the black box and maybe something you need comes out, hopefully before your year is up”
    Isnt that the ableton mojo?

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      1. You can also use the same Bitwig license indefinitely as well. It’s not a subscription license, it’s subscription updates. Ableton had big updates in that time frame but as time goes on, they’re less likely to make more big updates instead of dropping a new major version and cashing in on upgrade fees.

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  4. Updated to 2.2 and still horrible GUI lag performance on my macbook retina 2015, with Projects that are not even heavy.
    I am not the only mac user experiencing this issue, reading the bitwig kvr forum.

    Still sticking to Reaper DAW as my main DAW.
    – It just flies
    – Updated weekly
    – no subscription model
    – even Reaper devs do help you personally if you have any issue with Reaper.
    – et etc.

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  5. great update. and a free update since the paid 2.0 model started. if they don’t add anything else, it was worth updating. works great on my surface book. ymmv

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  6. A few years ago they were mentioning maybe “LV2” support on Linux. On Linux there are no plugins and LV2 is basically the standard. Still nothing. Well… Ableton Live still has no VST3 support, so which DAW is less not meeting expectations. Still on BW1 and it works OK for what it does, The features in BW2 are nice but more “nice to haves” than must have or essentials (don’t like the 2.0 menus also). But it is just a personal taste. Probably going to sit it out another year before spending that US$168. will get on V2 sooner or later, probably later. By that time BW could be V3 with no upgrade path for V1. That all thank to the internet which enables these new “cloud” monetization models.

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  7. About updates: consider that V2 only came out in March, and I hope the devs were doing something else than coding in the summer…

    The modular system is already being realized at a fast rate, already tons and tons of creative things are possible. The day before yesterday I built a synth from a DC offset module and keytracked audio rate LFOs (which means oscillators basically). Yesterday and today I created a kind of an emulation of the Moog 12-pole phaser.

    It’s true it’s a bit slower than Reaper, but consider that it has an internal audio rate modulation system for everything, even any VST! There’s not much space for creative buffering there in the way Reaper does it. Reaper has tons of pre-buffering and other clever stuff everywhere which is great for efficiency, but couldn’t allow a system like this. I remember the time I assigned eight realtime MIDI controllers to the same VST parameter in Reaper, and basically what happened was that the whole DAW froze up! They are so different by design that it does not make sense to compare them. Audio sidechains anywhere from anywhere, modulate anything with incoming audio in audio rate… To me this is the most forward looking and futuristic choice right now, and even with the staggering amount of (luckily mostly small and harmless UI) bugs V2 introduced, I have no itention of using my previous DAWs (Reaper and Renoise) for much anything anymore, really…

    Also the fact that it has internal support for control voltages is beyond fantastic, it has made my Exper Sleepers software completely redunant.

    The way of assigning modulators is fantastic, I found out that it makes working with Reaktor for example a lot faster, when new modulators can be thrown everywhere with a few clicks instead of diving inside the Reaktor editor every time I want a new LFO or something.

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    1. “About updates: consider that V2 only came out in March, and I hope the devs were doing something else than coding in the summer…”

      But this is their job, isn’t it? If it was it was freeware coded by high school students then sure, go enjoy your summer. But I think I’d be unhappy if I went out to a restaurant only to find they’re closed for the summer to have fun. Or the mechanic that can’t fix your car until October. I’m also pretty sure people are paying BitWig with the expectation that they won’t just take off for a few months, especially since they have to pay another $170 next year for updates.

      Totally agree that BitWig looks like a technically great DAW. That’s probably why I even commented to begin with. It’d be fun to play with. It stinks to watch it get held down by some questionable business decisions. Only positive I see is that other DAWs will catch up and offer similar modulators later. I’m happy with Ableton for now and I’m sure Live 10 will be great.

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      1. That’s a pretty bogus criticism. Developers take vacation. (Truly, they MUST take vacation in order not to burn out.)

        Plus, they’re based in Berlin and Germany generally has generous vacation policies and many Europeans tend to take summer vacation. Plenty of businesses have “summer hours” or close shop out of season.

        The comparison to restaurants and mechanics doesn’t even make sense to begin with because they’re completely different types of work with different talent pools. Not to suggest being a mechanic is easy, but it’s a much more common skill than developing native, cross platform, real-time applications that are heavy on signal processing.

        Even if there was similar availability of talent, mechanics have more interchangeability because cars are relatively similar across models and very similar within the same model, tools are highly standardized, and a lot of the problems are common and familiar as well.

        Replacing a developer is a long process because software is extremely complicated and has a huge amount of variance from one codebase to another.

        Either way, they have been reasonably productive by my count, though I was hoping for a bit more and I strongly agree on your points about the lack of transparency and engagement. They would do well to publicize these updates a bit more too, not that it benefits any of us but it would probably be better for business. (Maybe I’ve just missed the marketing?)

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        1. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss real mechanics as a commodity. I’m no pro but I’ve already acquired many specialty tools to work on my BMW. When a job is too big I take it to a BMW specialist (factory trained in Germany) who is part muscle, part engineer, part Sherlock Holmes, and part computer tech. His skill set and intelligence is easily comparable to any developer I’ve worked with. Where the developer chose one path in life, this guy took another. He’d be hard to replace too. If your comparison is limited to the bros who change oil then yes, they are totally interchangeable. But I could also make a comparison to PHP bros working on an e-commerce site. They’re also pretty much interchangeable.

          The bigger point I was aiming for though was that professional businesses don’t just take off for a few months. I wasn’t really trying to compare software development to car mechanics or food prep, just that the world still turns and people still want things. Even on the nice days, even in Europe. I was kind of taken back by the “I hope they weren’t coding during the summer!” statement.

          I get that developers (well, all of us) need vacations. I’m in the states but I work for a trendy software company that offers unlimited paid time off (engineering, not as a dev). We have offices and developers worldwide, most people take about 6 weeks a year on that plan. But we don’t all take off at the same time (or for 6 weeks in one block), and certainly our customer’s expectations didn’t change when it was implemented. We still have our 2 week sprints, releases, support, etc. “It was summer” has never been a valid excuse for not getting something done in the professional world.

          Utlimately BitWig made some promises when this model rolled out to help people feel better about their decision: Quick bug fixes, updates released when they are ready vs waiting for a release version. Faster development all around because they are freed of constraints. What we’re seeing is big releases that take months, and that’s not good. Whatever the reason, that’s what my problem is with all of this. Apologies for any confusion my analogies introduced.

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          1. I didn’t intend to dismiss mechanics, just to point out that standardization makes a huge difference for training, ramp up, etc.

            You raise some good points. I don’t mean to be contrarian, it just seems that the critique is a bit unfair. I could nitpick about the vacation issue quite a bit (I am based in the US but worked for another German company until recently), but I’ll try to focus on the meatier stuff.

            One issue is whether they are delivering. To that, I would at least say that they aren’t drastically underdelivering when you consider that it’s the third major release in 8-9 months and there have been minor releases in between for bug fixes. Consider that: 1.X to 2.2 in that time frame. The value is certainly there, though they have an advantage from the 2.0 release.

            It’s hard to imagine Live getting updates at that pace, but my perception may be biased by the slow down at the current stage in its lifecycle.

            The bigger question, besides summer slow down, is how does the next year look after the first anniversary of 2.0? It’s not hard to imagine that there has also been a slow down because of people taking well deserved time off after the 2.0 release. (This often happens in US companies as well.)

            If that’s the case, I would expect to see the delivery ramp up in 2018 to prove that second upgrade fee is worthwhile.

            I agree that the cost of the annual upgrades from 2.0 to 2.3ish (projecting out a bit) wouldn’t seem worth it, but that’s not really what you’re buying since it doesn’t factor in 1.X to 2.0. Further, it’s not hard to imagine that come a few major updates later it’ll be compelling to pay up again and ride that through another year of updates, amortizing the cost of the in-between updates.

            The comparison to a single license fee is still tricky, but if it actually evolves the product faster and in the right direction then it’s not totally wasted money in my book. The single license fee is definitely a better value, but you have a hidden cost of time, at least in theory.

            I hope they prove their worth, though I’m not 100% confident. The jury’s still out for me and probably will be for a while. In the meantime, I enjoy using Bitwig plenty enough that I’m not sweating it too much. (I say this with the privilege to not need to sweat my investment into Bitwig too much; it may be a very different picture for cash strapped folks who bought in and are worried Bitwig will fold or not deliver the value they felt they were promised.)

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          2. Also, I agree it would be nice if they delivered features in smaller, more regular updates, and I don’t see any technical reason they shouldn’t do that (not sure how much a latency vs. throughout trade-off analogy holds). It seems that overall things are happening faster than in 1.X times anyway.

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